When I was little, I grew up listening to fascinating stories told by my dad about the wonderful places that he visited around the world while working on a luxury cruise liner during the 1950s and 1960s. I was inspired to travel and couldn’t wait to see some of those destinations with my own eyes.
As soon as I was old enough, I took up an apprenticeship in travel and tourism and began my career in the travel industry. I have worked for small independent travel agencies, a large global travel company in Mayfair and a traveller’s club in Knightsbridge and I have now recently joined the Western & Oriental team in London where I specialise in luxury travel in the Far East, Arabia, Indian Ocean and the Caribbean.
I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit some fantastic places around the world both through work trips and personal holidays. I am fascinated by places that are rich in culture, nature and beauty, I also love the ocean and enjoy shopping and dining in cities.
The Far East is one of my favourite destinations as it offers a perfect combination of culture, beautiful beaches, rainforests and exciting cities.
I particularly love Thailand, where the people are so friendly, there are so many temples, palaces and other places of historic interest to visit, fantastic food and markets, mangroves and islands with stunning beaches and fabulous luxury hotels with spas. I especially loved the Pimalai on Koh Lanta, located on a hill on the edge of the mangrove with stunning views of the sea, and Rasananda on Koh Phanang, located on the most perfect beach I have ever seen. Both hotels are luxury boutique and have super spas, fantastic food and excellent service. In the north I visited the fascinating city of Chaing Mai, where I climbed the 300 steps to visit the temple of Wat Prathat Doi Suthep that is perched on a mountside. I also had an amazing day where I rode an elephant bareback through the mangrove; this was a great experience and one that I will always remember.
I also have a soft spot for Africa where I have been on safari several times including Samburi and the Masai Mara in Kenya and Shamwari in South Africa. Watching the wildlife in the beautiful savannah is simply spellbinding. Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities on earth, where you will find some of the best food and wine in the world.
I recently went to Barbados where I stayed at the lovely Fairmont Royal Pavilion which has a spot on the best stretch of beach. I stayed in one of their Beachfront Junior Suites that I highly recommend as they overlook the ocean and you can walk out from your private deck straight out to the beach. I enjoyed swimming in the warm clear sea and at certain times of the day you can swim out and feed the turtles, this was a wonderful experience and a memory that I will treasure.
Another highlight of my travels was a trip to India. I was there for two weeks so I was only able to see a small piece of this vast country, but I long to go back in the future and explore it further. I visited Delhi, Jaipur, Samode, Agra and Mumbai. We sat in the gardens of the Taj Mahal and had tea with our guide while he told us about its history, before taking us through to visit the temple and it was just as beautiful as I always imagined. Samode Palace was also somewhere very special, it is a Heritage Hotel and was formerly a fort, it has been very well preserved and still has many original features, such as the marble floors and is full of antiques, it was a truly magical place full of charm and character, the service was outstanding, I was made to feel like a princess and it felt like I had gone back in time.
I still have a long list of places that I wish to visit, including the Himalayas, Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Botswana and Namibia to name just a few and there are always amazing new hotels opening up around the world so the list grows. It’s great when clients come back from their trips and tell us all about their experiences and I always enjoy sharing my personal travel knowledge with clients too.